Friday, 21 November 2014

Bit of a chill

On Monday I decided to have a little play bareback with Sunny because I really did not feel the motivation to be getting out all his tack. We just had a quick session of flatwork, working on flexion on the straight and left bend. I even managed to get a few minutes of correct roundness from him which I was pretty impressed with bareback so that was lovely. We had a little gallop before we cooled down because really who doesn't love a good bareback gallop? Then I cooled him down and let him go play with his friends again before feeding time. I've worked every day since so it's just been a case of making sure everyone is warm and feeding but this weekend I'm off so will hopefully get a ride or two in.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Naked pony!

Sunny got clipped today! He was nervous about the clippers at first because it's been a year since he saw them but after about 10 minutes of just standing near him turning them on and off and letting him come to me he was fine and we got him all clipped out in about half an hour (Full body clip, head and legs left on). He even let me clip his beard which I was super proud of! He looks adorable, I love how his dapples come out when he's clipped :)
Cheeky clipping selfie ;)

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

What are left flexion?

Had another lesson with Sunny yesterday which was really fun. He was a super good boy and showed my instructor how he has been working on bringing his back up and pushing from behind. She noted (which I was acutely aware of) that on the right rein he bends inward really well, but on the left rein he counterbends with his head and shoulders to the outside. So, we introduced the idea of walking in a straight line with alternate right and left flexion. Right flexion is no problem, we can do this easily for as long as I ask him to. Left flexion....we're not really even sure what that is. By the end of the exercise we had managed a taste of it with help from the ground but it definitely needs lots of work.
After that we worked on canter transitions and getting him sharpened up, we got some lovely ones but right canter transitions are definitely our weakest transition right now so we will continue to work on those. He was a really good boy though and was definitely thinking and on the ball for the whole lesson and I felt like he was really with me and ready for my next question which is always lovely.
Ready and raring to go as always...

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Figuring out flatting

Rode Mr Monkey on Wednesday for a schooling session. He was a bit of a star and I'm really starting to get the gist of how to ride him to get him in front of my leg and working properly from behind which is such a nice feeling. I'm still not there all the time but it's getting much more consistent and I was able to get some really beautiful work from him.
Please excuse my heel in all of these it was having a party

Cute pony is cute

Then this morning we took Jack and Sparkie out with Tammy's boy Theo for team jumping! We didn't place but we had fun and it was all good experience. There aren't really any decent photos because they're all form a video and it was inside but here's a little snippet.
My lack of horse is due to the fact that Lottie and I both rode Sparkie

Then Beth went to work while Lottie and I rode Sunny, he wasn't very focussed at first and just sort of casually strolled about without making an effort but once he'd had a (reaallllyyyyy long) warm up he worked absolutely beautifully, I was even able to get him working round and from behind in canter which is not something I usually achieve! Lottie also had a turn with him and he was awesome for her. Then the littlest kids at the yard both had a quick walk round after we'd cooled him off before he came in to get his rug back on and have his tea :)

Then we went up to play with John and Lottie rode him in her tweed since she had it with her from the morning jumping and he was awesome and they looked amazing.

Monday, 3 November 2014

We did something new!

So, yesterday Sunny and I stepped completely out of our comfort zone and went....arena eventing!
Beth wasn't able to take a horse so Sunny went all on his own, he hasn't traveled alone since spring last year but he was fine an actually traveled really quietly (other than having a rub around the trailer when he got in because he was wet). He looked like a terrified little colt who'd never left his home before when he got there but we walked him around for a while and groomed him and just generally molly coddled him and then he settled down  nicely.
Warm up arena was an indoor, Sunny has never even seen an indoor arena before in his life and he was pretty nervous when I took him in, he took a while to get going as he was napping to the exit but once Beth put us a warm up jump up we had his attention and he was happy to stay lol. We were pretty lucky that we were the first run of the day so we had the warm up to ourselves most of the time.

Collecting ring was outdoors so we went up there 5 minutes before we were due to go in and had a little stroll around to keep ourselves chilled.
And then in we go. He did not want to go through the gate and was very nappy and there were lots of people around so they let me walk him in and mount in the arena which was really nice of them. We did our course, I'm not going to say he was on his best behaiour but other than a nasty episode of napping around the gate between fences 2 and 3 he actually jumped really quite nicely. He also went into the water all by himself with only a seconds hesitation! This is a big deal for him as he has never gone into unknown water without being led in by another horse so I was sooo proud of him for just strolling in like a little pro! We had some rails down and were pretty slow because we mainly trotted the course so obviously we didn't place in the top 6 to get a rosette but we didn't get eliminated and we came 9th! Then pony stood nicely watching the rest of the class all chilled out and asleep :)

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

A little bit of everything

Last Monday we schooled Sunny. Well I say we schooled Sunny. I rode him for about 20 minutes and he felt like he'd just been broken in the day before and was learning how to be alive. So I did some transitions and gave up. Then Beth had a go and was actually able to get him to school...because she's a much more patient person than I am lol.
Then on one of the days last week, I cannot remember but I promise it happened, Monkey went hacking. Beth walked with us and the yard dog decided to come along because she's adorable and Sunny was a very good boy and yay all good things not much to say.
Then today he just. Well. He was pretty amazing to be honest. We schooled for a little while and I was able to get him to work properly quite a few times in trot on both reins. We did some transitions which were pretty good and I even attempted a couple of walk to canters with the second one being absolutely amazing with no trot strides he just moved straight into canter! I was so proud!
Then we popped up a little jump to play with and he was lovely, Beth and Lottie gave me some tips on riding into jumps and it honestly made such a difference. To the point that I was able to jump something I never thought I'd jump on him. We've done 95cm in the past and we have some wings than go up to 90cm but I never thought I'd jump the top of them because I get nervous when I know how big I'm jumping lol. But we did it, and then I cried with happiness because I am a bit pathetic but I feel no shame about that.
Then Beth got on and did some jumps and then schooled him to cool down and he was awesome. She was able to get him round and working properly in walk, trot and canter and he looked amazing!

We don't have the best technique but we have heart.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Stubble field fun and jumping galore

On Wednesday Lottie had an inset day so obviously it became a ginger play day! We went up to see My Smith first and took him out to play in the stubble field. He is such a little gent it's adorable. Even after Lottie had galloped him through the field I got on and he was so chilled he didn't even want to go up to trot. I did eventually get him into a canter and it was so steady bless him. He and Sunny appear to have the same feelings about galloping (it's very fun yes but lets make sure we stop before this gets out of hand) which is very cute.

Then we went up to ours and played jumping with Sunny. Beth set him up a jump with 3 poles set slightly wider at one end so it was like his first little fan jump. He was actually really good with it, pulling me into it and actually stretching over it bless him. We set the wider end at the left to try and discourage the left drifting but he actually just jumped the wider bit so I think we need to go a little wider on that next time lol. We also did his first ever skinny which I'm not going to lie scared me quite a bit. And we worked with the poles leading into the jump which he was not so keen on. He tested me somewhat there but I just sat quiet and let him get over himself then managed to get him over it a couple of times nicely (he'd already done it twice before he decided it was a horrible exercise) and left that at that.

My little flying potato
Then it absolutely tipped it down so we called it a day on riding and just gave everyone their tea before going home (after a magical mystery ride to drop Lottie off at her boyfriend's because of a road blockage and then a visit to check on Beth's dad's cat because dad was away for work).

But Saturday we went to play cross country! Beth took Jack and Lottie and I both had a turn on Sparkie. The boys were fab, Sparkie is a real joy to ride cross country, particularly as I'm used to riding Sunny (never know if he's going to absolutely amaze me over a jump or drag me to it then decide he's not so sure) and I was able to canter through water for the first time in my life which was sooooo much fun! I'm so determined to do this on Sunny one day even though I have no idea if I will ever be able to, but it's worth trying right?
Jack is a machine. He jumped everything so well and even beasted one of the biggest jumps there, which was pretty freaking massive! I just can't get over how much heart that horse has.
(Photos of me from this day make me want to punch myself in the face, just for the record. For goodness sake Emma learn to jump.)